KRISTIN BUMBERA HAS SUCCESSFUL NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL SERIES DEBUT HOUSTON, TX (APRIL 20, 2008) Kristin Bumbera and her ...
KRISTIN BUMBERA HAS SUCCESSFUL NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL SERIES DEBUT
HOUSTON, TX (APRIL 20, 2008) Kristin Bumbera and her #40 TXI-MAXIMIZER CONCRETE Chevrolet made their NASCAR Grand National Division debut in the Allstate Texas Thunder 150 in Kyle, TX as the only female driver in the race and the only driver from the Lone Star state. Bumbera, the "Texas Girl" as she has become known, was one of the most popular drivers of the night as many of the Texas fans have watched her race since she was eight years old.
Bumbera qualified 13th in the field of 24 cars with a time of 15.292 seconds and ahead of the current points leader Mike David who qualified 16th. Crew chief, Dave Riggs, described his plan for Bumbera's first race in the series, "Our plan was to keep it simple - qualify and finish the race, which I thought we did very successfully. She showed lots of poise and talent and received many compliments. The NASCAR officials were very impressed with her driving on a tough bullring like this and the fact that she avoided so many wrecks and finished on the lead lap with the caliber of these drivers is a great accomplishment."
Everything ran exactly as Riggs had planned with Bumbera never falling lower than 16th position and running a steady race. However it wasn't an easy night by any means for the rookie driver who was dealt plenty of obstacles. The trouble began on lap 56. #33 Lloyd Mack spun going into turn 3 right in front of Bumbera who skated through the grass high in turns 3 and 4. After another restart on lap 89 the field was much tighter with Bumbera in the midst of a pack of seven cars running 2 and 3 wide at times. The #22 of Jason Bowles got turned around in turn four sending Bumbera and 2 other cars into the grass again missing the mayhem but it cost her a couple of positions. During the restart on lap 98 Bumbera's transmission lost first, second and third gears, which made the restarts for the remainder of the night very difficult.
By the restart on lap 115 the tension was building as the drivers who were ready to make their final moves were blocked in on all sides. As Bumbera was entering turn 1 #61 Brett Thompson and #10 Jim Warn crashed right in front of Bumbera. She then got rear ended by the #17 of Jason Patison and shoved into the #10 doing a lot of damage to the front, rear and left side of the car. Bumbera radioed to the crew that the car was still handling pretty good with the exception of a vibration coming from a bent left front wheel. She would restart in 13th position. Before the race was over however there would be 2 more incidents in turn four spinning several cars right in front of Bumbera. She managed to avoid both wrecks without any further damage. The second incident however sent Bumbera flying through the infield grass to avoid a completely blocked track. This caused a scoring error as she didn't pass by the start/finish line on the racing surface. NASCAR made her line up at the rear of the field with the lapped cars costing her valuable positions. The error was corrected on paper after the race; however Bumbera had to repass many of the same cars again.
With only nine laps remaining Dave Riggs turned his driver loose and let her go. It looked like Bumbera found another gear as she passed four cars in the final few laps of the race to bring home an 11th place finish on the lead lap. After the biggest race of her career Bumbera was pleased with the results, "I definitely had a lot of fun racing with this group of talented men. Avoiding all the wrecks was challenging and I'm glad after all of that we were still able to have a successful night. I had a front row seat to much of the action. It seemed like things were happening right in front of me every time but I knew I would be fine with the help of my spotter. I can't wait to join these guys again in Irwindale."
Bumbera's next race is April 26th at All American Speedway in Roseville, CA where she is running a full season for Golden State Racing in the NASCAR Whelen Late Model Series and the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program. Her next NASCAR Grand National race will be the 4th of July in Irwindale, CA with Next Generation Racing. F